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Optimum Talks Blog

Do’s and Don’ts When Searching For Your Next Executive

by Optimum Talent
April 6, 2021


Assess your talent retention
Are you doing everything you can to retain your existing talent? Is HR helping guide your corporate decisions? An organization’s employee retention can impact an executive’s decision when looking for a new career opportunity. Candidates should experience in the most authentic way of your organizational culture and values throughout the recruitment process.


Be conscious of your bias
Knowing how to identify your own conscious and unconscious bias is essential in order to make a fair assessment of all your candidates. It all starts by knowing yourself better. There are plenty of tools available for leaders to help gain insights and an understanding of their bias, like Pamela Fuller’s method. Working with a search partner is a great way to minimize bias.


Authenticity is attractive
You may be approaching people who are currently employed. You have to know how to attract them in such a way that they are inclined to meet with you. Be authentic, share your story to help build trust and rapport. Talk about your culture, values, and tell the candidate how they would fit in. Be transparent!


Have a strong onboarding program
Organizations must have an onboarding program in place prior to their search process, especially when they are looking for their next executive. Who will transition the new executive? Will there be overlap with the current incumbent? What role will each board member play? What about your CHRO? How will you communicate the role internally? Etc. In this new era of working remotely, it is critical that organizations have a work-from-home or remote working policy.


Be flexible and agile in your process
The pandemic has disrupted recruitment processes. Organizations must be flexible, agile, and prepared to adjust their strategy to the current virtual reality. For example, meetings must be shorter but more frequent to keep the candidate’s full attention and engagement.


Don’t be blinded by superstars
Some candidates have a very interesting career path or have achievements that may seem intimidating. Don’t get starstruck, keep in mind how the candidate will fit in with your organizational culture and the value they will add to your team.


Don’t rush your choice
Because of the great impact an executive brings to organizations, you must make an informed decision. Don’t rely on your first impression and make sure that you have a quality long list of eligible candidates to choose from.


Don’t conduct structured interviews
When recruiting executives, it’s better to conduct informal interviews. This allows for more openness in interactions resulting in deeper discussions. You can easily adapt your interview process for each candidate and observe their behaviour in the hopes of finding the most suitable person for the role.


Don’t base your choice on a list of tasks
We no longer recruit based on a list of required tasks and skills. We recruit by empathetic leadership style, values, and personality traits. Organizations must focus on what’s missing from a team in order to find someone that will bring value. Look beyond the resume!


Don’t neglect the buy-in from the decision-makers
Often, organizations will mandate an HR committee to work closely with the team of recruiters. Processes must be impartial in order to have the buy-in of everyone to reduce any risks. Never hire someone solely because they are a friend of a friend.


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